Imagine yourself back in a time when electricity was new, and airplanes were just getting off the ground. The 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair was a magical utopia that attracted millions of visitors from all over the world to see first-hand the latest accomplishments and innovations in science, technology, education and the arts.
The original St. Louis Fair was the grandest international exposition in history, and Rhode Island was represented by many manufacturers, schools, organizations and artists. On July 12, Lincoln’s Hearthside House Museum celebrates Rhode Island’s pride at the fabulous Fair with its own special event: Discovering Our Great Past: Rhode Island at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
Hearthside’s special connection to this international exhibition is that the historic house was the model for the Rhode Island Pavilion built for Fair. Hearthside will host special exhibits on all three floors inside the museum, while entertainment, arcade games, live music, arcade games, exhibits and food continue non-stop outdoors throughout the day.
Attractions and themes, all focused on contrasting “then and now,” include a sensory room where personal accounts from fairgoers are heard while images from the 1904 Fair are shown, a drone will fly overhead and project live images of Hearthside’s festivities, wireless telegraph communications will take place around the grounds and out to St. Louis, cultural performances including German music and dancing and a performance portraying the true story of Marie Narelle, an Irish singer who was discovered and made famous by Thomas Edison, as well as belly dancing, a stiltwalker, juggler, and exotic animals to touch and learn about, brass band music, an exhibit and demonstration about weather balloons from the Blue Hill Observatory, presentations about the 1904 Fair, antique cars and bicycles, old-fashioned tunes performed in song and keyboard, and a pie tasting contest round out the turn-of-the-century celebration.
A special addition will be a double-header vintage baseball game played by the Providence Grays. The game, with authentic equipment used by the original team from the late 1800s, will be played next door to Hearthside at Chase Farm Park starting at 11 a.m. All proceeds from the event support the continued preservation of Hearthside.
Parking for the event is next door at Chase Farm Park. Pedi-cab service, similar to the bicycle rickshaws at the 1904 Fair, will be available as a shuttle to and from the activities for those who need assistance.